Category Archives: Seminars

Information about upcoming seminars.

GUEST POST: Mama says, “No So-Poppers”

By Jennifer Rothschild

The older I get the more frequently I hear the words of my grandmother echo through my memory. Mama taught me a lot through her life and words. I giggle now at one of her admonishments. In her sweet voice, with her Southern draw, she would say, “Honey don’t ever watch ‘so-poppers’.” As a young girl I vowed I would not — even though I had no idea what “so-poppers” were. As a young adult I finally realized the words “soap-operas” had gotten lost in her thick Georgia accent.

While that’s great advice, even greater wisdom came from her favorite scripture she would quote to me. “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to you.”

Mama knew the power of words. In the book of Proverbs we see that the words of the wise are persuasive; that a person’s words can be life giving water; and that wise speech is more rare than gold and rubies.

I heard that the average woman uses 25,000 words a day. (That comes as no surprise to the verbally challenged men in our lives). Given the number of words we speak, we should pay attention to not only the words we use, but also the way we use our words.

In Luke 4, Jesus is in the Synagogue on the Sabbath. He has come back home to Nazareth to preach and to teach. After he has spoken, Dr. Luke tells us in verse 22 that “the people were amazed (or astonished) by His gracious words.”

A few verses and several cities later, we see Jesus again in the Synagogue on the Sabbath. This time though, in verse 32, He is in Capernaum. The response of the people? …”they were amazed, because he spoke with authority.” So Jesus was known not only for his authority, but his gracious words. Isn’t that what we seek as Christian leaders? When we speak the Truth, we want it to be authoritative, but we should also want it to be communicated with graciousness. Authoritative words should never be offensive, and gracious words should never be without power. If our words reflect His Word, then people will be amazed and astonished at the One who speaks through us. For this to occur we must submit all 25,000 words to him daily, and pray:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, Oh Lord, my strength and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14)

And … as Mama says, turn off those “so-poppers.”

On Sept. 10, Jennifer will be with us at The Cove for a special women’s seminar called “Your Thought Closet Makeover.” Click here for details.

Jennifer Rothschild

Jennifer Rothschild is a celebrated author, songwriter, recording artist and Bible teacher. Diagnosed at age 15 with a degenerative eye disease that would eventually steal her sight, she is the founder and publisher of the popular online magazine WomensMinistry.net and has been a featured speaker for Women of Faith and other national women’s conferences. For more information about Jennifer Rothschild and her ministry, visit www.jenniferrothschild.com.

GUEST POST: Love and Relationships

By Dr. Gary Chapman

Mark was a successful businessman. He admitted that he was reluctant to call my office. “But I’m desperate,” he said. “My wife told me last week that she does not love me; in fact, she doesn’t even like me and she wants me out of her life. How can that be true?” he continued. “We have a good marriage. I’m a good provider. We have a nice house and three wonderful children. I love Suzanne deeply. I’ve given her everything she wanted. I don’t understand. How can she just throw away seventeen years of marriage? If I were a bad husband, I could understand; but I’m a good husband. I’ve never been unfaithful to her.” Tears are now flowing down Mark’s face. “Besides that,” he said, “we’re Christians and Christians just don’t stop loving each other.”

I spent some time expressing empathy with Mark’s pain and frustration. Then I asked, “Has Suzanne verbalized complaints to you over the past few years?” “She’s always saying that we don’t spend enough time together. My business is very demanding.” “What else has she complained about?” I inquired. “She says we don’t talk. When I get home, I’m tired of talking. I’ve talked all day and I need some down time.” “What else has she complained about?” I asked. “A couple of weeks ago, she said that I loved golf more than I loved her. That’s not true. Golf is one of the ways that I unwind and it’s good for the business.”

It was obvious to me that Suzanne’s primary love language was Quality Time, and Mark had not spoken her language in a long time.  I knew that there was no quick fix for Mark’s marriage. I wasn’t even sure that Suzanne was willing to talk about it.

The need to feel loved is our deepest emotional need. When that need is unmet over a period of time, we lose our romantic love feelings for our spouse. Then, their negative behavior patterns begin to annoy us. That is why Suzanne could say, “I don’t love you; I don’t even like you.”

After thirty years of marriage counseling, I am convinced that there are only five basic languages of love. Each person has a primary love language. If you don’t learn how to speak your spouse’s primary love language, he or she will eventually lose their feelings of positive regard toward you and will, in fact, dislike you. If you speak your spouse’s primary love language, you keep emotional love alive in the relationship.

Let me briefly describe each of the five languages.

Number one: Words of Affirmation: using words to affirm your spouse. “You look nice in that outfit;” “Thanks for taking the trash out. I really appreciate all the hard work you do.” “You are the greatest.” The scriptures say “Life and death are in the power of the tongue.” (Proverbs 18:21)

Number two: Gifts. My academic background is anthropology, the study of cultures. We have never discovered a culture in which gift giving is not an expression of love. A gift says “She was thinking about me. Look what she got for me.” Gifts need not be expensive. Haven’t we always said, “It’s the thought that counts”? If Gifts is your spouse’s primary love language, it is not what you give but how often you give that communicates love.

Number Three: Acts of Service. The scriptures admonish that we are to love not only in word but in deed.  (I John 3:18) Cooking a meal is an act of service. Washing the car, walking the dog, mowing the grass, doing the laundry, changing the baby, and vacuuming the carpet are all expressions of love.

Number Four: Quality Time. Quality Time means giving your spouse your undivided attention. It is not sitting on the couch watching television. It is sitting on the couch with the TV off, looking at each other; or taking a walk down the road and talking with each other. It may involve a picnic or a weekend away. The important thing is the two of you are sharing life with each other. The next time you are watching television and your spouse walks in the room, put the TV on mute, turn and look at your spouse. Give them your undivided attention and you communicate that they are more important than anything on television. It is a powerful expression of love.

Number Five: Physical Touch. We have long known the emotional power of physical touch. Holding hands; embracing; kissing; sexual intercourse; putting your arm around their shoulder; putting your hand on their leg as you drive down the road; a back rub; or perhaps gently wrestling them to the floor are all expressions of love.

The key to keeping emotional love alive in a marriage is learning to speak each other’s primary love language. So how do you discover your spouse’s love language? Answer the following three questions. “How does my spouse most often express love to me?” If they give you words of affirmation regularly, that may be their love language. They are giving you what they wish you would give them. Number two: “What does your spouse complain about most often?” Our complaints reveal our deepest desires. Suzanne complained, “We don’t ever have time for each other. We don’t talk. You love golf more than you love me.” Quality Time was her primary love language. Number three: “What does your spouse request most often?” If your spouse says “Would you help me make up the bed?” “Would you give the children a bath tonight?” Such requests, if they come regularly indicate his/her primary love language is Acts of Service.

Three things are required if you are to be a successful lover. Number one: Information: What is your spouse’s primary love language? Number two: The will to love. Love is a choice. And Number three: Regular expressions of love, using your spouse’s primary love language.

It took Suzanne nine months of counseling to work through the pain, the hurt, the neglect and the lack of empathy exhibited by Mark. But eventually, their marriage was reborn. “If anyone had told me that I could have love feelings for him again, I would never have believed it,” said Suzanne. “But I do. He’s speaking my language,” she said with a smile on her face. Learn to speak your spouse’s primary love language and you too can live with a smiling mate.

Dr. Chapman will be at The Cove July 29-31. Space is still available. Click here for more information. A free live webcast of the first session will take place on July 29 at 7:15 ET on www.thecove.org.

Gary Chapman

Dr. Gary Chapman is the best-selling author of The Five Love Languages series and an international speaker on marriage, family, and relationships. The government of Singapore invited him to present his marriage seminar, and the Chaplain’s Office of NATO invited Dr. Chapman to speak to the NATO forces in Germany. Other engagements have taken him around the world. He has served for more than 35 years as senior associate pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC.

The Greatest Commandment

In Matthew 22:37, Jesus affirms the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” He continues in verse 39: “And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Dr. Gary Chapman

Can you love others without loving God first? Dr. Gary Chapman, best-selling author of The Five Love Languages series, will tackle that question at his seminar at The Cove later this month.

Joy Allmond, from BillyGraham.org, spent some time with Dr. Chapman delving deeper into the topic and what will be covered in the seminar. You can read the full article here.

Space is still available for “The Greatest Commandment” with Gary Chapman July 29-31. Reserve your place today.

Mel Blackaby Teaches at SeniorCelebration at The Cove

Last night, we kicked off a wonderful time of worship and Bible study at our SeniorCelebration, hosted by Cliff Barrows.

Soul-stirring music from the Smith Family set the stage for the evening, and Mel Blackaby of First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, Ga., led a time of study on the topic of abundant life, using Scripture from John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

How do you have abundant life? If you don’t have joy and peace, you may have “religion,” but not a personal relationship with Christ. Abundant life is not about us … it’s about Him. We must give ourselves away.

Jesus did not tell us to go and make “decisions.” He said go and make “disciples.” If our hearts are truly changed, we will experience true joy and excitement at the opportunity to serve Him.

This seminar, which wraps up on Wednesday, promises to be another event where those attending leave challenged and full of Biblical truth to return and make a difference in their home churches. New friendships begin and prayer connections are found with people who have never previously met. Abundant life is not what we receive, but rather what we can give to others.

The Smith Family performs at The Cove's SeniorCelebration

Live Webcast Tonight!

Join us tonight, Friday, July 15th at 7:15 ET for a free live webcast from The Cove!

Josh and Sean McDowell will be with us leading a seminar called “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith.”

The first session will stream live on www.thecove.org. You can also participate in a live Q&A session.

Don’t miss this great opportunity to experience a session at The Cove from the comforts of your own home.

Josh McDowell: 3 Practical Steps to Help Believers Share Their Faith

From Josh McDowell*

First of all, make sure your life backs up your words of proclamation. If people don’t see it in your life and in your attitudes, no matter how well you present the Gospel, your words will fall on deaf ears.

Second, listen to the other person. Ask him or her, “What is your spiritual journey?” Do this before you share your own. This communicates that you care.

Third, declare biblical truth within the context of your own testimony. I share my story, but I proclaim truth within it.

Next, be ready to defend your faith. As 1 Peter 3:15 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect” (NIV). Which simply means, when somebody asks, “Why do you believe in Jesus?” give an answer. “Why do you believe in the Bible?” Give an answer.

But when you witness, make sure you use Scripture because God promises to honor His Word.

And finally, call for a decision. That’s where most people miss out. We tell our story and everything else, but we don’t ask for a decision. That’s essential!

You can learn more from Josh when he leads “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith” at The Cove. Click here to learn more.

*Excerpts from a recent interview with Decision magazine.

Unshakable Truth

Do you know what you believe and why you believe it? The answers to these questions shape how we live our lives. We cannot live out God’s purpose for our lives until we understand what it is and how it should be reflected in our lifestyle.

July 15-17, renowned author and apologist Josh McDowell, along with his son Sean, will join us for a special seminar entitled “Unshakable Truth, Relevant Faith.” The content for this special study is based on their new book “The Unshakable Truth” which explores the 12 foundational truths of the Christian faith, why they are credible and how they are critical to living out what you believe.

Unshakable Truth – Promo – Josh & Sean from Josh McDowell on Vimeo.

Space is still available for this specially priced “Next Generation Retreat.” Contact us today at (800) 950-2092 to learn more.

Chip Ingram on The Cove: ‘It’s just awesome!’

By Trevor Freeze

Chip Ingram searched for the right words.

The teaching pastor for Living on the Edge ministries has come to The Cove to speak at least a dozen times and it never gets old.

In fact, anytime he can bring his wife with him, like last weekend, he does.

“The setting’s just awesome,” Ingram said.

But to describe it in more detail took a little more thought process.

“It’s excellence without opulence,” Ingram said. “It’s well done but it’s not overdone.”

And what hits Ingram the most is how thoroughly enjoyable his experiences at the Billy Graham Training Center have been.

Year after year after year.

“It really honors God, from the top to the bottom,” he said. “From the person at the door to the the kitchen staff to the maids who pray for the guests when they make their beds, there’s a servant’s attitude here that’s real.”

Ingram gave a “Next Generation” parenting retreat over Memorial Day weekend aimed at those 45 and under called “House or Home” and if the wrap-up testimony time was any indication, this was more than just a three-day seminar where couples walked away with head knowledge.

“God works here,” Ingram said. “Not to be overly mystical or anything, but the hand of God’s favor has been on this man (Billy Graham) and organization.”

Cove view
The view from the deck of the Training Center

10-Year Anniversary: Cove or Cruise?

By Trevor Freeze

Anticipation.

Possibly the best part to any weekend get-away, the wondering of what is in store is almost as beneficial as the actual vacation itself.

Almost.

Well-known pastor and author Chip Ingram spent parts of three days in the mountain tops outside of Asheville, bestowing wisdom to eager parents about, you guessed it, parenting.

And as my wife and I slipped into the dining room and our eyes locked in on the only two remaining seats, that feeling of anticipation quickly slipped into reality, with Gigi Graham welcoming us even before we placed the crisply-designed napkin into our laps.

Introduction time.

You know the drill. Where you from? How many kids? What do you do? Pick your three or four of the least-threatening pleasantries and your shallow table conversation can commence.

But not this table. Not this weekend.

The three other couples — from Ohio, Tennessee and South Carolina — didn’t come to play Sunday School. This much was clear.

The conversations were real from the first hellos.

“We’re celebrating our 10th anniversary,” said Lorien Boyer, a graphic designer from Westerville, Ohio. “And I wanted to go on a cruise.”

The glance to her husband was priceless. Except maybe to the husband.

Boyers
The Boyers

Mark Boyer, manager for an upstart Christian Radio Station Shine (88.9), explains their story slightly different. You see, the Boyers had good friends just outside Columbus, Ohio, also celebrating 10 years of marriage and they had planned taking a cruise together. Until the friends, ever so inconveniently, got pregnant.

That’s when Mark went to the well and scrambled for a suitable Plan B. Honey, how about the Cove? And Chip Ingram?

And hey, it’s on parenting. Memorial Day Weekend. Perfect.

“The first time I threw it out there she was like ‘No, I don’t want to go to a seminar,” said Mark, father to Casey, 2 1/2, and Drew, 14 months. “But when you go to something like this, you know God is going to do something, you just don’t know what.”

Lorien didn’t care for the pep talk. Where’s the Lido Deck? The 30 SPF? The Midnight Buffet?

“I was very disappointed,” Lorien said. “I had never been on a cruise. The Caribbean. Warm Weather. Laying on the beach…

Spoiler alert: Mark talked Lorien into scrapping the cruise idea and the couple made the 8-hour drive to the Billy Graham Training Center this past weekend.

And as much as Lorien doubted Mark, she couldn’t help but stop herself in mid-sentence as the conference was wrapping up and she was saying her goodbyes, exchanging e-mails.

“But this…,” she said, pausing to flash her husband a smile, as they talked about a return trip. “I’m definitely glad we came. It was such a great weekend!”

Trevor Freeze, a writer for billygraham.org, survived the Chip Ingram parenting conference at The Cove. And highly recommends it.

GUEST POST: Keeping Your Marriage the Priority: 5 Tips for Navigating the Child-Rearing Years

By Chip Ingram

I will tell any couple that the key to navigating those child-rearing years is to make your marriage your number one priority. My wife Teresa and I learned some things (through Scripture and personal experience) that I would like to share with you:

1. Keep cultivating the spiritual side of your marriage.

This doesn’t have to look legalistic or structured, but praying together and sharing your hearts is crucial to the health of your marriage. It looks different ways for different couples. Honestly, corporate devotions don’t work well for us. Instead, my wife and I each have our devotions and get together often and talk about what God is teaching us. This kind of sharing builds a necessary spiritual connection between husbands and wives.

2. Develop companionship.

It’s important to have fun together. This is the kind of thing that keeps the love alive. Youth sports, work and kid demands can very quickly crowd that out.

Of all the years of pastoring large churches, my wife and I spend much of my day off together. We go to lunch, goof off and have fun. Even in our earlier years when we were raising children we would usually have about three hours to ourselves. We’re still doing that after 30 years of marriage.

3. Build a structure for communication.

So, what do I mean by this? Here’s an example:

We, like most people, get paid every two weeks. Neither one of us enjoy doing the bills. So, we have made it a time where we leave the house, get cup of coffee, and write out all of our bills together. That way, we both know where the money goes and we are on the same page about our finances.

We would also spend this structured time to talk about the kids, and how they are doing … phases they were going through. So every two weeks, Teresa and I discussed money, values and kids, so we that didn’t find ourselves confused by going too long without talking about these things. We do these things that keep us on the same page.

4. Spend time with older, more mature couples.

Wherever we’ve lived in the past, we learned to seek out older couples who seemed to have a marriage like we would want to have and/or who have raised godly kids. This doesn’t need to be anything formal or structured, but proactively go after them. Go out to dinner with them.

You know that couple that is 20 years older than you, but seems to have more fun? Find out what they do!

And the couple that has four adult kids that walk with God? Hang out with them and learn what they did.

5. Be united in front of the children.

Throughout my marriage, I would say our biggest arguments were the result of not being on the same page about discipline and consequences. She thought I was too hard on the kids; I thought she was too soft. When she would not follow through with what we agreed upon, it drove me nuts. When I would deliver consequences that she did not agree with, it drove her nuts.

Then we decided that we would agree in private on discipline and consequences so that we could, in public, stand before the kids with a united front.

Chip is coming to The Cove this weekend to teach couples biblical principles of parenting. Space is still available for this specially priced retreat. For more information or to register online, click here. Chip caught up with BillyGraham.org. Click here to read more about “raising up parents” and the upcoming seminar at The Cove.

Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram is an accomplished author and the senior pastor of Venture Christian Church in Los Gatos, Calif. He is also president and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international discipleship media ministry that provides teaching through radio, TV, and interactive online discipleship pathways. For more information about Chip and Living on the Edge, visit www.livingontheedge.org.